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Jailed Costa Rica sex tourist Cuba Dave: ‘I’m a political prisoner’

David Strecker, aka “Cuba Dave,” speaks to The Tico Times from La Reforma prison in Alajuela, Costa Rica, on March 18, 2016. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

by Michael Krumholtz

Update: In a right of reply to this story, Daniel Woodall Zimmer said he has never been associated with David Strecker. See the entire right of reply below.

Original story:

Florida native David Strecker, who goes by the moniker “Cuba Dave,” has a story from when he was in the sex offender’s block at San Sebastián prison in Costa Rica’s capital, San José. One of the inmates went around asking the other prisoners why they were behind bars.

“They said I raped a minor,” one inmate said.

“I killed my two children because they wouldn’t stop crying,” another confessed.

“I had a website,” Strecker said.

Wearing a white Imperial beer tank top that reveals a New York Yankees logo tattooed on his upper right shoulder, and a matching Yankees cap that hides his whitening hair, Strecker told the story from the courtyard of the senior wing of La Reforma Correctional Center, a prison north of the capital where he was transferred on Feb. 10.

Beginning in 2005, “Cuba Dave” gained notoriety in San José’s sex tourism scene after websites and social media accounts donning his brand offered advice on the area’s bars and hotels that cater to prostitution, which is legal in Costa Rica. Through a book and blogs on other Latin American and Caribbean sex tourism destinations like the Dominican Republic and Cuba, Strecker’s erotic adventures earned him Internet fame and a steady following of curious, and envious, male admirers.

He was arrested by Costa Rican authorities on Sept. 4, 2015 at Juan Santamaría International Airport under suspicion of violating a law that prohibits promoting the country as a destination for sex tourism.

Strecker still awaits a possible trial that could land him in prison for up to eight years if he is found guilty.

From sex tourist to sleeping by a urinal

In a recent interview with The Tico Times from La Reforma, Strecker called himself a “political prisoner” and claimed he’s being discriminated against because he’s from the United States.

“This is a country where if you happen to say the wrong thing, you’re going to end up paying for it,” Strecker said. “Truthfully, I really believe I’m just being made an example of.”

Like most other prisoners, the 65-year-old Strecker says he doesn’t belong in jail. He recalled the dismal conditions at the overcrowded San Sebastián prison, where during his five months of preventive prison he said he slept on cold concrete with his head next to a urinal.

Read the full story on

May 16, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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